New Delhi, May 16: While his senior cabinet member and cricket administrator Sharad Pawar advocated strong action against players in IPL spot-fixing, the MP from Trivandrum and Union Minister of State Shashi Tharoor today said he (Sreesanth) has committed any wrong.
Tharoor said he was sad over the arrest of Sreesanth but cautioned that "none should rush to conclusions until the charges against him are proved". "I am sad over the arrest. He is a good cricketer and pride of Kerala," Tharoor told reporters when his comments were sought on the development.
"We cannot say he has committed any wrong until the court processes are over. He will remain innocent until proven guilty," Tharoor, an ardent cricket fan and MP from Kerala capital said.
Tharoor is not alone in such denial. The state of Kerala, since morning, has been trying to prove his innocence while involving other players.
The media in Kerala is unwilling to believe that the pace bowler is guilty. People are being interviewed on the electronic media and many of them said he was hard working and rose to the top against all odds.
Tharoor and Kerala have a reason to see the other way. Sreesanth is the only cricketer from the state who rose to such a level of international fame and sustained it for some time. He played 53 ODIs and 27 Tests.
To make their case, media channel reporters in Kochi and Trivandrum went around the grounds where Sreesanth played, and boys who knew him said that their hero has been trapped.
Same was the reaction of state officials of the game. Cricket administrator BP Ajith Kumar said there was a big conspiracy against Sreesanth's arrest in the case. "In no way can a person like Sreesanth be party to what we are hearing now. I strongly feel that this is a trap," said Ajith Kumar.
"I won't believe this news. Sreesanth would never do such a thing," said TC Mathew, secretary of the Kerala Cricket Association